Seven Reasons Procrastination Sucks — FREE book excerpt!

by Lisa Rothstein on 07/22/2013

Overcoming Procrastination For Multi-Taltented PeopleDo you procrastinate? Well, here is your chance to get a head start on busting that self-sabotaging behavior!

Our ebook Overcoming Procrastination for Multi-Talented People  is now on  Kindle and getting five-star reviews ! Here is a sneak preview excerpt featuring procrastination’s seven worst pitfalls. Because when you really “get” how destructive procrastination is to your talents, your work and your well-being, you’ll be more motivated to conquer it.

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1.  Procrastination makes you appear untrustworthy.

Missed deadlines or constantly going down to the wire isn’t a great way to bolster other people’s confidence in you.  The bitter irony is that you may have a huge, almost crippling sense of responsibility – but that’s not how it comes across.  Your reputation suffers, and people you want to work with don’t feel as enthusiastic about working with you.  Your talents are wasted when the attention goes to your unreliable work habits.  Worst of all, it’s really not who you are.

2.  Procrastination makes you lose respect for yourself.

If you hold the heavyweight championship for beating yourself up, you are all too familiar with this one.  Every time you put something off or break a promise to yourself, the burden of guilt and self-reproach grows.  Looking back over the ruins of days and weeks – even years – squandered avoiding a project or goal can really make you hate yourself.  And it gets worse from here:  A lack of self-respect affects your whole outlook, poisons all your relationships and severely stunts your quality of life.  It’s worth it to squash procrastination for this one reason alone.

3.  Procrastination makes you miss opportunities.

Aristotle said “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”  When you procrastinate, you are not prepared to jump on fortune when it falls in your lap. When you bump into Steven Spielberg at the supermarket, it’s better to be able to whip your finished screenplay out of your tote bag than to say, “well, I’ve been working on something for 8 years…can I send it to you when I’m done?”  Or worse – you actually GET an opportunity, and you put off taking advantage of it.  And the door eventually swings shut, as doors do.  ARRGH.  I hate when that happens, don’t you?

4.  Procrastination makes you get less done.

Okay, so this is kind of obvious.  But considering all you have to offer the world, it’s really a shame when you let procrastination rob everyone of your talents.  No one else is going to write your play, create your comic book series, start your business or record the songs you haven’t written.  Who are you to deny us all a chance to enjoy the fruits of your abilities and ideas?

5.  Procrastination diminishes the quality of your work.

You may want to argue with me on this one.  “But I do my best work under pressure,” you cry.  You may think so.  And there is, admittedly, a certain genius that comes with the intense focus that a terrifying last-minute deadline brings.  But look at what you’ve lost in the process of procrastinating.  You’ve lost time for essential research and allowing ideas to germinate.  Worst of all, in your time avoiding the work, you’ve lost the connection to the passion that fueled the idea in the first place.  A project done on adrenaline can turn out better than you deserve.  But it’s not going to be as good as a project done on love and a deep intimacy with your work.  That’s where the real genius is.

6.  Procrastination sucks the fun out of everything.

You may think you’re having fun when you plop in front of the TV or go out drinking with your friends when you said you were going to work on your project.  But you’ve probably noticed that the guilt that tinges your leisure time when you know you “should” be tackling your work makes it a lot less fun than it could be.  Soon, even legitimate and necessary non-work activities, like sleep, feel unearned and somehow wrong.  Now you’re never really happy.  Sounds like a pretty raw deal to me.

7.  Procrastination robs you of the joy of creation.

A bumper sticker when I was in college read “DON’T POSTPONE JOY”.  But that’s just what you’re doing when you put off a creative project.  It’s a little like working out.  Sure, it seems daunting before you get started.  But haven’t you noticed that once you’re immersed, time and resistance disappear?  As a creative person, this is what you were meant for.  Every time you procrastinate, you separate yourself from this joy that is your natural state.  Why would you do that to yourself?

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Does any of this sound like you? Want to get a prescription for YOUR type of procrastination? Then you’ll definitely want to pick up the whole ebook Overcoming Procrastination for Multi-Talented People  on Amazon!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kebba Buckley Button July 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Lisa, I’m visiting from the UBC. What a totally cool post! And you are absolutely right about procrastination. It throws our energy, our schedule, and our reputation. You are the first person I’ve seen mention the reputation aspect– but it’s powerfully true!

Georgia Lee London July 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm

This was FABULOUS! I have already slipped out to Amazon and bought the book. 7 Great Ways that procrastination sucks. Are there more? Can’t wait to read the book and find my type. This was a very well thought out thesis on procrastination. gets to the heart of the issue. Love it!

Minette Riordan July 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Great tips on how procrastination hurts but I especially love the last one: procrastination robs you of the joy of creation! I think people are so worried about the outcome of what they might create that they forget how fun the actual act of creativity is. For me, it’s all about the journey and the process. If I don’t like it, I toss it and start over. Being creative is great for practicing non-attachment!

Lisa Rothstein July 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

That is great to remember Minette!! It takes a lot of the pressure off. Some of us get caught up in judgment before we even start!

Lisa Rothstein July 28, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Thank you Georgia! We are planning a series of ebooks like this in the run-up to the launch of the Davinci Dilemma book next year. Right now you can check out Liisa Kyle Ph.D’s wonderful book on Perfectionism on Amazon too!

Lisa Rothstein July 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Unfortunately, I have experience in all these areas!

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